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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Acceptable outcome following resection of bilateral large popliteal space heterotopic ossification masses in a spinal cord injured patient: a case report

Ramin Espandar* and Babak Haghpanah

Author Affiliations

Department of orthopaedic surgery, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran 1419733141, Iran

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:39  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-39

Published: 22 June 2010


Spinal cord injury is a well-known predisposing factor for development of heterotopic ossification around the joints especially hip and elbow. Heterotopic ossification about the knee is usually located medially, laterally or anteriorly; besides, the knee is generally fixed in flexion. There are only a few reports of heterotopic bone formation at the posterior aspect of the knee (popliteal space) and fixation of both knees in extension; so, there is little experience in operative management of such a problem.

Here, we present a 39-years old paraplegic man who was referred to us five years after trauma with a request of above knee amputation due to sever impairment of his life style and adaptive capacity for daily living because of difficulties in using wheelchair. The principle reason for the impairment was fixed full extension of both knees as the result of bilateral large heterotopic ossification masses in popliteal fossae. The bony masses were surgically resected with acceptable outcome. The anatomic position of the ossified masses as well as ankylosis of both knees in full extension, and the acceptable functional outcome of surgery which was done after a long period of five years following injury makes this case unique.